In the first study of its kind, an international team of genomics researchers has identified new regions of the human genome that are associated with skin color variation in some African populations, opening new avenues for research on skin diseases and cancer in all populations. These findings may help researchers determine if humans with certain DNA sequences are more or less susceptible to DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation (UVR) or respond to cellular stress differently. National Institutes of Health researchers contributed to this effort, led by Sarah Tishkoff, Ph.D., at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The findings were published October 12, 2017, in the journal Science.

Results from a large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in Liberia show that two candidate Ebola vaccines pose no major safety concerns and can elicit immune responses by one month after initial vaccination that last for at least one year. The findings, published in the October 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, are based on a study of 1,500 adults that began during the West Africa Ebola outbreak. The trial is being conducted by a U.S.-Liberia clinical research collaboration known as the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia (PREVAIL), established in 2014 in response to the request from the Liberian Minister of Health to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

To improve quality and reduce health care spending at a population level, state and federal agencies have begun requiring shared decision making tools for certain procedures and tests. With legal and financial incentives, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and others aim to move the industry toward value-based care.

Washington, DC - Despite decreases in cancer death rates nationwide, a new report shows slower reduction in cancer death rates in rural America (a decrease of 1.0 percent per year) compared with urban America (a decrease of 1.6 percent per year), according to data released today in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report is part of a series of MMWR studies on rural heath.